Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Girl Who Baked Everything

A love a good 4 day weekend, especially when it is not expected. Due to Hurricane Sandy, school and work were canceled for Monday and Tuesday. Do you know what I spent the past 4 days doing.....not exactly running. The name of this blog should be changed to Pumpkin Junkie.
Saturday I was supposed to do a 50 minute tempo run. Every single family member ended up being busy though, and I couldn't find a sitter. I decided this meant that I should simply not stress, and spend some quality time with my daughter. We had a guest coming over for dinner. Remember the "pumpkin craze" I talked about in my last post...
I started with a huge crock pot of pumpkin chili and a batch of pumpkin cornbread muffins.
Paired with a Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale. It was perfection.

For dessert I made these Pumpkin Pie Biscotti with a cream cheese drizzle. A little bit of a mix between a biscotti and a scone. Pretty damn good.
I also made this Pumpkin Cheesecake which I brought over to my friends for her birthday. While I didn't get to taste it I'm told it was amazing!

And since I'm that crazy.....Pumpkin Pancakes for dinner the next morning:-) I made them with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix.
My training called for an 8 mile run on Sunday. I ate those delicious pancakes, got suited up, and was stopped in my tracks when I noticed how disgusting my daughter's bright red eye looked. A couple of hours in-line at the CVS Minute Clinic confirmed she had pink eye.
Seeing as though that's contagious for 24 hours, I wouldn't be dropping her at any body's house on Monday either.
I did manage to get a nice 5 miler in this morning. I tried to take it nice and easy, which was a lot easier with all the puddles and piles of leaves and debris that Hurricane Sandy left in my way.
After running, I continued my madness in the kitchen. I'll show you pictures tomorrow but I have to say from this one that today's creations put everything else to shame.

I caught him over the sink, frosting utensil in one hand, measuring cup with batter in the other, taking alternate licks.
The finished product was even better.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Fun

Thursday after work it was time for some Halloween festivities. Every year my family gets together and we carve pumpkins and decorate sugar cookies.
My sister decided to get all fancy pants on us an got a pumpkin carving kit. My little girl picked the ghost template.

We pulled the guts and got down to business.
Unfortunately, after we started the pumpkin I walked away to do the dishes and Kaitlyn got a bit carried away with her design. I returned to a pumpkin with a huge circle cut out of it. Poor thing. Looks like we have a huge pumpkin to bake up and we'll have to get her another one.
That's why you stick with the standard triangle eyes and mouth.....

My brother's children playing in the bathroom. Nice.

My sister helped the other kids. This pumpkin also ended up with a big hole and no design.....I think it was a carving failure for the night.
At least the cookies tasted good:-)
Friday's workout only called for 3 miles. I knew that I wanted to take it slow because I was pretty damn sore from Thursday's Pyramid Workout. I hopped on the treadmill and all of a sudden the crazy, competitive came out in me. 3 miles in 23:40. Not actually as slow as I should be running.
After running I headed to the weight room and decided to focus on my arms and core. I started with a move that I used to do when I was doing P90X. I can't for the life of me remember which video or what it's called but it's awesome. You get a weight (I used 10 lbs) and you kneel on one leg (kind of like you're tying your shoe) and you come up and turn and lift the weight over your head (hold the dumbbell with one hand on each end). Doesn't sound like too much but your core will definitely feel it by the end.
I used the same 10 lb weight to do standing bent over rows and triceps. 3 sets of 15 for each move. Lots of stretching between sets. Done and done.
PS - Pictures of our mud run got posted. I come from Jewish roots so you're only going to see the proofs....

My baby totally rocked it.
I am as cold and as I look.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend!! I'm on a bit of a pumpkin craze.....You'll see the results:-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bargaining with My Calf

Monday called for a break from running. My knees and calves were sore
from my busy, busy running weekend so I played it safe and took my
little butt right over to the elliptical. It was a good 40 minute
workout. Nothing too intense but sweat-inducing, endorphin-releasing
just the same. After the cardio I took to my ankle weight circuit. Going
into marathon training I'm trying to make sure I do it at least once a

Tuesday I laced up my Asics and hit the treadmill for a nice 6 miler. I
seriously felt amazing. Something is to be said about sweat dripping
down your calves and shins. You're definitely doing something right.

Wednesday I woke up and my body was telling me to take a day. Good thing
too because I had a dentist appointment at 1:30. Who knew that getting
one little cavity filled would be so uncomfortable. That needle they put
into my jaw was massive and painful. I went home and crashed into what
can noly be described as a small coma. Me and medications do not mix.
Seriously, I have the lowest tolerance for medication.....at least I
have a high tolerance for wine, right? When in pain, simply

Annnnnyways, I digress. I headed over to the gym today, eager to conquer
my 4 miles on the treadmill. I cranked up some Eve (anybody else love
this chick? I know it's a bit old school of me but I seriously LOVE her
music) and hopped on the treadmill. I was in the perfect mindset
today...funny how rest days can do that to you. I knocked out 4 miles in
31:28. Done and done. Then I headed into the weight room for a bit of
self inflicted pain.

Helllllloooo pyramid workout. I stole inspiration from Julie at Peanut
Butter Fingers. Here is what my workout looked like:

Mountain Climbers
Weighted Lunges (20 lbs - each leg)
Jumping Jacks
Weighted Squats (50 lbs)
60 second plank
Kettleball Swing (25 lbs)
Tricep Press (90 lbs)

You start with 10 of each, then move to 9 of each....etc, etc. The first
time I did it I went to 5 and was seriously sore a couple of days later.
Today I only got to 7, due to time constraints. I forced myself to do
some stretching. I do believe I officially have a calf strain. It is
very tight and sore after I run, not during. I found some exercises
online to stretch/strengthen....I promise that once this 10K race is
over I'll take it easy. (**This is what I keep saying to myself in my
head. My race is November 4 and marathon training starts November 12. 8
solid days with NO RUNNING. I promise...)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Rogue Runner and The Color Run - My Review

Once again, it’s been a week since I’ve posted. That’s because I’m just too busy having fun!

This past week’s workout:
Monday: 3 miles + Strength
Tuesday: 3.6 miles + Yoga class
Wednesday: 10 x 400 @ 5K pace (7 miles total plus warm up and cool down)
Thursday: 5.5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 mile training run + 10K Mud Run
Sunday: 5K Color Run

This put me at about 36 miles of running this week! That is the highest weekly mileage that I’ve had in at least 6 months. Yay!!

For Wednesday’s speed workout I tried something a little different. Instead of just standing/walking and catching my breath between 400s I decided to run a recovery 400 at a much slower pace. This proved to be pretty damn hard compared to what I was doing. I ran the 400s between 1:37 and 1:45 (about a 6:50 mile pace), the recovery laps at about a 9:00 minute per mile pace……wow. Let’s just say the cool down run back to my apartment did not have anything resembling speed.

Rogue Runner: I’ve definitely done my fair share of mud runs. I’ve done the infamous Tough Mudder in GA (13 miles of craziness!), a 5 mile one in VA Beach (which was more like a sand run. Holy crap that is hard), the 5K Warrior Dash in MD and Run Amuck on Quantico Marine Corp Base. I have to say, this one is not on the top of my list. I will give Rogue Runner a tad bit of leeway. This was their first time putting on a mud run, so hopefully they learn from their mistakes.

Here is the course:
Here's what I suggest they fix:

1. There were very few water stops. About ½ way through people on four wheelers started to come by with cases of bottled water……
2. The lines for obstacles were anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. Serious backup. Standing around for an hour is NOT fun. They should have had smaller waves staggered better.
3. The course was not properly marked. At one point we were told by somebody who finished that we were going the wrong way and had missed a couple miles of obstacles, yet the volunteers were the ones who told us where to go. Not cool.
4. Obstacles were poorly placed. At the end of inclined monkey bars you had to drop about 5 feet to the ground, which was a HUGE flat rock. My boyfriend went down the mud slid on his stomach (really just a tarp with a hose on it) and hit a huge rock! He has a huge abrasion on his oblique along with a lot of bruising and swelling.
5. The after-party was lame. The medals were just sitting in a big pile. Nobody to put them on you. Hell, they weren’t even taken out of the plastic. There was no post-race bagels or bananas, nothing buy greasy BBQ you had to pay way too much for.
Here is my wonderful boyfriend who rocked it.
The Color Run, DC: This run, on the other hand, seemed to be pretty well organized. It was also held in the National Harbor in Maryland which is just gorgeous.
It was very packed.
Do you see how far that crowd goes back! I couldn't even see the end.
Packed runs are pretty common, especially in this area, the issue was that a lot of those people were non-runners, which is fine, but they had no running etiquette. If you’re walking, please move to the side. If you have to stop, please move to the side….The only real complaint I had was the color itself. It’s just a dyed cornstarch powder that people threw at you. Resulting in a big POOF of color that you had to close your eyes (especially with my contacts) to run through and try not to take any deep breaths……
.I don’t know what I was expecting but it was a bit more than that. I’m glad to have done one but won’t be signing up to do it again.

All in all a very fun, active, packed weekend:-)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Butternut Squash Pizza

I really need to get better at posting every day, or at least every other day. My workouts for last week were as follows:
Monday: 3.2 mile run
Tuesday: 45 minute Yoga Class
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 3 miles + 40 min strength training
Friday: 60 minute elliptical (Cross Training) + 20 minutes strength training
Saturday: 45 minute tempo run (5.6 miles)
Sunday: 6.45 miles
Today was a quick 3 miles in 23:30. Finally! I did a 3 mile run in under 24 minutes on the elliptical. and you know what? Not that bad. For some reason, I have never been able to do that. Hell, it's not actually "for no reason" it's because, just like last weekend's race, I don't push myself in the beginning....this is especially true on the treadmill. Last weekend's race gave me a bit of a confidence boost so when I got to the gym today I knew I had it.
After my run I did about 30 minutes of weights. My usual circuit of ankle weights, with core work on the stability ball and lots of stretching in between. I was so awesomely drenched at the end of this workout. I wish I had taken a picture:-)
Since I'm bad at taking pictures of my food, and nobody really cares all that much, I'm just going to show my one or two favorite meals.
This is a home made pizza. Roasted butternut squash, onions and a bit of pepper jack and Colby cheese. On top of my Harris Teeter Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Crust. It was SO good!!
This weekend was just like every other weekend and flew by WAY to quickly.
We did have a ton of fun at a birthday party for a little girl we know. 

Moon Bounce and all. The boy was brave enough to get in with the children. He got tackled!! It was awesome to watch and we all had a blast.
Sunday Kaitlyn and I headed to our local Farmer's Market. I picked up some delicious Cameo apples (I seriously LOVE a good apple. Cannot be too sweet though. I had a sample of a Honey Crisp and couldn't take another bite. Holy hell. It was pure sweetness.)
I also picked up some acorn squash, just to try something other than butternut, and a spaghetti squash. I made the spaghetti squash last night, topped with ground beef and tomato sauce. Delish.
Kaitlyn realllllly wanted this bad boy, but since we couldn't even carry it I opted against it.
This coming week is going to be crazy workout wise. I have 24 miles, a yoga class and two weight lifting sessions, plus a 10K (Mud Run) and a 5K (Color Run) this weekend. I am SO excited!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cameron Diaz: My Fitness Idol

Three day weekends are seriously hard to come back from. I slept my normal nine hours last night and still fought to get out of bed this morning. Why am I always sooooo tired? I slept a lot this weekend. I ran a whooping 6.5 miles over the past four days. I didn't have any adult beverages last night. My daughter didn't pull her frequent move of sneaking into my bed and kicking the crap out of me.....

I tell myself it's because people 25 and under need more sleep on average. I can only use this excuse for 6 more months.....ugh.

As I said, the Monday after my run I only ran 3.2 miles. I was a tad bit sore from Sunday's race and the temperature had dropped (read 40 degrees. Brrrr......I am the biggest cold weather wuss there is). I ran a steady, comfortable 8:39 pace. I'm thinking if I warm up and stretch inside I'll have faster runs. Warming up generally makes me run faster, I'm just too lazy to really do it. Just like I was too lazy to do my weights routine later in the day.......

Instead I watched "What To Expect When You're Expecting". WOW. What a seriously shitty movie! As anybody seen it?? An all-star cast that really disappointed. It only solidified the fact that I never want more children and Cameron Diaz was in fact put on this earth to make all of us women look overweight and flabby work harder to get those sort of results.

Picture source: moviefanatic.com

I turned to the Internet to see her workout regime, just for shits. Apparently, the girl works her ass off (and it shows obviously). Along with cardio and weights this chick "tosses tires", big monster-truck tires to get those biceps. That's legit.

To head to the opposite side of the spectrum, I am currently obsessed with this snack, plain rice cakes with almond butter, fig jam and cinnamon. Seriously, I need to stop buying almond butter. Almonds alone are ok but made into a delicious butter, they're irresistible.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

First Race Post Break!

This weekend was full of fun times (and it's a 3 day weekend because we have Columbus Day off!).
Friday and Saturday were rest days for me so instead of running, I did something else I love. Eating and Drinking:-)
Friday night the boy and his son came down and we all headed to my brother's for one of the last BBQs of the year..
Salad, 3 bean salad and potato salad (my mom made everything and did awesome!)

with chicken and bread. I picked up the wine and the Pumpkin Spice Country Crock. That is some goooooood stuff.
We all hung out and made drinking games based on what was on TV. That's what most families do when they spend quality time together, right?? My family rocks. Until my brother said "Every time Laura loses a hair we drink.....low blow brother, low blow. Needless to say waking up on Saturday was rough for all of us:-)
Saturday was gorgeous weather and we had absolutely no plans. So we hit up the park with my friends and their children.

Kaitlyn did flips the entire time and she said her arms were burning on the way home.
It started raining that afternoon and we thought it a good time to make some Halloween themed rice krispy treats. Topped them with chocolate and halloween sprinkles.
I seriously suck. I can make all these fancy cakes and cookies and did a TERRIBLE job on these rice krispy treats. I didn't mix them well enough and there are some spots with a ton of marshmellow and lots that don't have any. You can't win them all.
Sunday morning brought my 5K! The NOVA Hustle2Health. I was especially nervous. I'm not a short distance runner. Never have been. I find it easier to run a long 10 mile run than put everything I have into 3 short miles.
This morning it was cold and raining. 50 degrees. I am a total wuss when it comes to any weather under 65, so it was a long, miserable wait at the start. Once we got started though, it was pretty perfect.
The course was not too bad. Two pretty large hills but nothing impossible. When I hit the first mile I noticed that I was going about 8:00 min per mile. NOT fast enough to meet my goal of 23 mins.
I picked it up the last two miles and finished in 23:24. I'm disappointed that I didn't make my goal time. I didn't push myself enough in that first mile. I never do. I need to give myself more credit and start and finish strong.

I was happy that I placed 3rd for females and 19th overall. Next time, that sub-23 is mine.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lazy Saturday Morning

**This post was written Septmeber 15, not sure why I didn't hit  "publish"**

This week's workouts followed by training plan to the T.

Monday: Body Pump + 3 mile run
Tuesday: Yoga + 4 mile run
Wednesday: Cross Train (spin class)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3 mile run + stength....

Opps. I lied. I didn't do any strength yesterday (and I ended up doing a 4 mile run). However, it's 8 AM on a Saturday morning and I feel great, so I can make up for that today.

Couple things that I used to fuel a great training week. (I realllllly suck at taking pictures.)

Pumpkin Pancakes topped with a bit of almond butter, blackberries and honey

This is what happens when I clean out the refrigerator. Everything is thrown on top of Spinach and Kale and called a salad!

Veggie Scramble and Mango topped with leftover steel cut oats made in the crock pot.

Today my training plan calls for a tempo run. I am very anxious! I don't have a Garmin (Probably the only runner on the planet who doesn't) so I think I'm going to pick the paces that I want to run and map the course and where I should be based on those times...The run is supposed to start with 10 comfortable minutes, gradual increase for 15, bring it back down for the last 10.

Right now I'm just sitting here, drinking my delicious coffee and eating some oats, downloading new tunes to knock this run out to.

Then it's time for KERFUFFLE! YES!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Success Taste a Little Bit Like Vomit.

Tuesday evening I found myself in one of those moods. I was exhausted and tired and didn't want to do much. The game plan: Pick up Kaitlyn, go home and clean while she finishes her homework, eat dinner (in the crock pot), go to karate, come home for the bath/bed routine and be in bed by 8:30.

We got home and dinner in the crock pot was NOT done. From there the plan feel apart. We went out to eat (unnecessarily spending $ to consume too many calories, my favorite), followed by a walk to Rita's (insert same bitching here), allowing us to get home late and rush to karate. Were the teacher was late. It was a grouchy evening, that's for sure, but this pretty much made my night....

She got her outfit!! She is even more excited to be doing karate now! and even though we were 20 minutes late getting to bed because she wouldn't start practicing her punches, I'm not grouchy about it:-)

I vowed to make Wednesday happier. The key to this is (in my food-loving opinion) is to start with a good breakfast!

Quinoa, fresh tomato, 2 scrambled eggs, avocado, and red roasted pepper and garlic hummus. Drowned in Cholula post-picture. Damn good meal. Let's get this day started.

Instead of completing a workout during work yesterday, baby girl and I got one in together after we got home.  

Somebody got a brand new "Big Girl" bike so is more than excited when I offer a bike ride instead of an evening in. PS - The tires on that thing are CRAZY thick. It's an ass-kicking bike.

My training plan called for 9 x 400s. So we ran up to the school near our house and I did a lap around the track to warm up. Stretched for 5-10 minutes (let's be honest, probably more like 5....I suck at committing to it) then lined up.

Here are what they looked like:
1:37 <---Jimmy Eat World's "Pain"
1:35 <---Papa Roach's "To Be Loved"

I'm not going to front. This was a HARD workout. I only increased the speed by 5-10 seconds per lap and did one more than last time but when I finished I knew I was going to feel it today. My legs and chest were screaming and uncomfortable those last couple laps. During the last 400 I actually felt vomit start to rise.....So I know I was pushing it.

My only thing to work on is the recovery time. I went in thinking that I would only rest 45 seconds between 400s. HA! That lasted for only one time. Then it was more like 2 minutes. Crazy how fast time flies when you can't breathe:-)

Two very sweaty, hot, tired girls.

We made the 1 mile run/bike home and I whipped us up a quick dinner.

I know that doesn't look that appetizing but let me tell you, Kaitlyn and I pretty much fought over those roasted brussel sprouts. The beans are a lentil/and black bean mixture on brown rice.

I was pretty damn sore when I woke up today. My hammies felt like I had rocks in them. I rolled with the stick a bit this morning and made myself promise to take it easy. 4 easy miles, about an 8:45 pace with one circuit of weights. Assisted pull-ups, assisted dips, and the leg press. 12 reps, 3 sets, lots of stretching in between.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Fruits of Their Labor.

Monday's workout called for 3 miles and strength training. I quickly ran on the treadmill, then got right into the weights. As much as I wanted to do my normal class, I realized that it's been quite some time since I did my ankle weight exercises for my hips. So I made up a little circuit using a 12 lb ankle weight:

Inner Thigh Lift (Lie on your back with your right left bent, your left leg straight out with a flexed foot turned out to the left): 25 reps
Side Lying Leg Lift: 25 reps
Donkey Kicks: 25 reps
**Repeat twice**
After I did 2 sets on each leg I used the resistance band and did:
Tricep Press: 12
Chest Fly: 20
Bicep Curls: 15

Then you switch the weights on your legs and repeat everything 4 times. Hell of a workout.

Today's workout was not as intense. I had 4.5 miles to do and didn't want to push myself too much since I am doing a speed workout and have my race on Sunday. When I saw that I had forgotten my head phones at my desk I decided to push myself more mentally.

I got on the treadmill. The boring treadmill....and I ran. No music. No book. Nothing but me in my own thoughts (When I said that to a coworker she said "WOW that's a scary place to be. LOL. nice). I maintained an average pace of 8:20 and felt damn good about it. Maybe I'm closer to my goal 5K pace than I think:-)

After my run I went to a 45 minute yoga class. I got back to my desk feeling like a big bowl of amazing.

Staying true to my ways, I'm done talking about working out and on to food.

Can you check out this frickin' apple?!?!

Look at how big it is!! It's incredible! Almost half the size of my child's head! (and she is a BIG 6 year old). Let me tell you what, the taste amazed us even more than the size!!  It was SO delicious and crisp.

Do you want to know where you can get this beauty? Southern Maryland.

I'm not a fan of Maryland for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are cops EVERYWHERE. Not that I'm hiding anything but they can, and will, pull you over for every.single.thing. They even have speed cameras on the damn highway! That's sick.
Secondly, you can't buy beer in grocery stores. You have to go to a liqour store. A nasty, run down, shady-looking liquor store. For my beer?? That's ridiculous. I should be able to buy beer with my groceries. And if I want wine?? I have to go to an entirely different store!
Thirdly, the grocery stores suck. BIG time. No Wegmans, No Harris Teeter, No Whole Foods, No Trader Joes. They have Shoppers. Don't you dare try to find a Kashi product or gluten free product in them either, because you can't.

**Forgive my rant, back to the apples**

Despite all this, Southern Maryland has the BEST Farmer's Markets and produce stands ever. All of their products are delicious, juicy and cheaper than any grocery store/farmer's market in VA.

We bought 5 of these apples for $4 (Seriously, what a bargain!!)  at a stand on the side of the road on Saturday. That beauty was our last one.

It was SO big I cut it into thirds. Kaitlyn and I each had a third of it for breakfast, I had the other third for lunch.

With some crunchy, salty almond butter and scrambled eggs with avocado and Cholula.

You know where to find me this weekend. Buying more than one bag this time.